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Mirrors @ UCSB

  • Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall (Music Building) UC Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA United States (map)

The Now Hear Ensemble presents “Mirrors,” an evening of music based on symmetries and reflections, on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall on the UCSB campus. The program includes Michael Beil’s Karaoke Rebranng!, Edo Frenkel’s &, &, &, &... for solo piano, Marc Evans’ Counter-flow, as well as three world premieres—an arrangement of Guillaume de Machaut's Ma fin est mon commencement for amplified instruments and electronics, Joshua Carro’s [[[a nation defiled]]], and Dan VanHassel’s Invective. Admission is free, and the event is open to the public.

Looking back to the tradition of bands from the 80’s and 90’s, the programming for this concert takes inspiration from artists who included hidden messages in their musicmessages that were only revealed when the tape was played backwards. “Mirrors” delves into the notions of symmetry and reflection in music by exploring works ranging from the medieval era to the present day. Some of the pieces were created with the concept of symmetry in mind, while others were conceived specifically for this concert series, such as Dan VanHassel’s Invective and Joshua Carro’s [[[a nation defiled]]], which were commissioned during the Now Hear Ensemble’s residency at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute in Boscawen, New Hampshire in September of 2016.


Guillaume de Machaut’s Ma fin est mon commencement (movement 1; arr. Now Hear Ensemble)

Dan VanHassel’s Invective (movement 1)

Marc Evans’ Counter-flow, followed by Evans performing Edo Frenkel’s &, &, &, &...

Michael Beil’s Karaoke Rebranng!

Joshua Carro’s [[[a nation defiled]]]

Dan VanHassel’s Invective (movement 2)

Guillaume de Machaut’s Ma fin est mon commencement (movement 2; arr. Now Hear Ensemble)


Program Notes

Guillaume de Machaut's Ma fin est mon commencement (composed 14th century; arr. Now Hear Ensemble 2016) *World Premiere*

The Now Hear Ensemble presents their own electroacoustic reimagining of Guillaume de Machaut's three voice rondeau, Ma fin est mon commencement. The text, form, and themes of the rondeau are reflective and circular in nature as embodied by the first line of the text, which translates to "my end is my beginning". The ensemble embraces the spirit of the piece with this arrangement, which sources and samples material from the original while placing it in an entirely new sound world.

Dan VanHassel’s Invective (composed 2016)

*World Premiere*

Primarily composed in the last two months of 2016, Invective begins in a manic, wild manner that eventually gives way to an intense lament. The second movement begins with the ensemble playing along to a recording of the first movement played backwards. The ensemble gradually takes over with a precise reversal of the first movement’s trajectory.

Marc Evans’ Counter-flow (composed 2015)

Counter-flow was inspired by the braided rivers of Denali National Park in Alaska. Braided rivers result when the water is very high in sedimentation. As the water flows, the deposit and buildup of sediment forces it to constantly change path. This results in a wide riverbed with many small channels whose appearance changes constantly. The continuously evolving interaction of the channels reminded the composer of the voices of a compound melody, so he set about to sonify the image, extracting a few of its main paths and using them to generate a compound melody. The result was the opening material of the vibraphone part. From there, he treated the material freely, keeping always in mind the image of a constantly shifting flow of melodic lines. From there, he treated the material somewhat in the manner of a three-part invention, reflecting and inverting the melody and its accompanying lines, always keeping in mind the image of a constantly shifting flow of melody.

Edo Frenkel’s &, &, &, &...

Guest artist Marc Evans will perform New York-based composer Edo Frenkel’s piece for solo piano.

Michael Beil’s Karaoke Rebranng! (composed 2006; revised 2013)

Michael Beil’s Karaoke Rebranng! is a piece for four instruments with live-video and pre-produced audio. Beil is Professor of Electronic Music at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne.

Joshua Carro’s [[[a nation defiled]]] (composed 2016)

*World Premiere*

[[[a nation defiled]]] for electro-acoustic quintet and live-video is a death and birth of sound, a progression from the void to clarity. A metaphor for a hope that we will progress together.


Adriane Hill, flute

Amanda Kritzberg, clarinet

Jonathan Morgan, viola

Federico Llach, bass and electronics

Anthony Paul Garcia, percussion and electronics

with special guest Marc Evans (piano)

Now Hear Ensemble presents “Mirrors: an evening of music based on symmetries and reflections.” Friday, February 17, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall at UCSB. Admission is free. Event link:



Earlier Event: September 1
UCSB Summer Festival

The Now Hear Ensemble is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.